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His Dark Materials

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Does this fit into this category? Discuss.

 

Is it just for kids? Discuss.

 

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Argh no not even for kids. I've read them and really really didn't like them. I'd heard that they were great so carried on reading them hoping for them to get better but no. I didn't think the plot was that enthralling, and I couldn't really picture what Pullman was talking about. I'll probably re-read them sometime, but I sold my copies on ebay.

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I've only read the first two so far - the other one's in my 'to read' pile. They didn't grab me in the visceral way books often grab me, they seem to work at a more intellectual level. I'm thoroughly enjoying them however and will certainly read more Pullman.

 

So no, I guess they're not just for kids.

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I've only read the first two so far - the other one's in my 'to read' pile. They didn't grab me in the visceral way books often grab me, they seem to work at a more intellectual level. I'm thoroughly enjoying them however and will certainly read more Pullman.

 

So no, I guess they're not just for kids.

 

 

I bought the trilogy in an Oxfam shop but try as I might I just can't get into them. I just don't relate to the little girl. I keep trying but I find them boring. :confused:

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I think it might be easier to relate to the characters if your a child yourself, but like you've said, I think both adults and kids will enjoy the box set.

 

I really enjoyed all three books, the 3rd being the best, the end is so sad..... :(

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Definately not just for kids! I read them a while ago now, and thoroughly enjoyed them! Yes, the plot is kind of weird, but most fantasy/myth novels are. And I would say it definately falls into that catagory - travelling between different worlds, alternate universes (or whatever you like to call them!) most certainly comes under that catagory.

 

Philip Pullman was actually interviewed on the South Bank Show last night (anyone else see it?), and strangely he talked about how he was disappointed to realise His Dark Materials was going to be a fantasy novel....

 

btw, anyone read his other books, the ones about Sally Lockheart...? Also well worth a read! And for those of you who didn't enjoy HDM, you may like these ones, they're set in Victorian London, and are (I can't think of the word I'm looking for, its not that they're better, more that they're different. Perhaps more how Pullman likes to write! :P)

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I don't think there are any books that I would say are just for children. YA fantasy is definitely a genre where lots of readers can intersect. I often find the explorations within YA fantasy worlds to be less corrupted by pretention or authorial attempts to be profound, though they are more prone (I've found) to be shallow knock-offs of more popular works.

 

Anyway, I enjoyed this trilogy. I would have been extremely disturbed by the first book if I had read it as a child, though I imagine that my deep longing for a daemon would have been that much stronger then.

 

I was a little tempted to send a copy of this trilogy to my niece, whose parents are extremely conservative, and restrictive of her. They forbid Disney movies and Harry Potter because of the presence of "Dark Magic," so I can just imagine their reaction to Pullman!

 

Julie

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I bought the three of them about a year back, and I have to say that the books were one of the few that I just couldn't put down. Once I finished, I tried recommending them to a few friends, all of which seemed to either love or hate them. They seem to be marmite books :)

 

As to whether they're childrens books, I think they are. It's just that childrens books that crossover are more popular than before.

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I don't think His Dark Materials has a specific audience, it can be read by most ages and they can enjoy the books on different levels. My English Lit. teacher loves them and so does my 10 year old cousin. The themes seem to be aimed at adolescents though.

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I listened to these unabridged on tape.

 

I thought they were wonderful! The author read the narative and then members of the British theater did the different parts. WELL!!! I have to say I just **lerved ** it!!

 

I had the books also and when I was done gave the books to my grandson! I did, however, caution his mother, who is a teacher, that she might want to check them out first. I personally believe in letting children read almost everything. But I do think it is a good idea to get a feel for the themes and the content so that if they have questions or if you think some of the material "bears" discussion then you can talk about it. I think that books are a wonderful way to break through age barriers and share ideas. It is one of those things like music that can show us how much a like we are as well as allowing us to appreciate our unique and wonderful differences.

 

Of course, my husband and I loved reading and when we offered books to my son to read, he would use his fingers to make little crosses to ward us off!! He does read now but it is a genre all his own of Warhammer, Aliens and Predators and things of that vein. Everyone finds their own niche eventually if they just keep looking and picking up books.

 

Trudy

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I really like this trilogy as well, I've just finished reading it for the 2nd time....I've just been thinking about it and realised we never get to know the name of Mrs Coulter's daemon, it's always just 'the golden monkey', whereas the others have names, Stelmaria, Pantalaimon, Kirjava etc - we know the names of the daemons of all the other main characters, but not Mrs Coulters. Do you think this is significant? I'm undecided, still thinking about it, but just thought would see if any other readers had noticed this or had any thoughts about it.

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Pullman said everytime he asked the Golden Monkey his name he just snarled at him so he was too afraid to keep asking. ;)

Not naming him made the daemon more sinister. He didn't have a specific personality besides violence and cruelty. It also connected him better to Mrs. Coulter clearly showing that they were two sides of the same person. I'm fairly sure he was given a name in the radio play though. Yep, he's called Ozymandeus.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy. I felt the third book was possibly the weakest of the 3 but the ending still brought a tear or two to my eyes! I would agree wholeheartedly with them not being specifically children's books though. Maybe it's the fact that they are firmly in the fantasy genre that makes this crossover possible. :)

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I agree that they are definitely not just for children. I think Pullman has been quite clever, because although they would appear to be for children (and undoubtedly are so on one level), the content is actually quite adult. Lyra and Will may only be children, but their actions are undeniably mature at times. Kids will love them justfor the story, but there aremany messages lying behind the text for the more mature reader. I think it's quite easy to dismiss them as kids books on first appearances, but I don't think anyone who's actually read them could continue to think this.

 

Oh, and thanks for the thoughts on the golden monkey.....I was thinking along similar lines myself.....it's a shame they gave it a name in the radio adaptation though! I didn't listen to it, was it any good?

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Oh, and thanks for the thoughts on the golden monkey.....I was thinking along similar lines myself.....it's a shame they gave it a name in the radio adaptation though! I didn't listen to it, was it any good?

 

It was good, though I only caught two of the programmes. Some bits I didn't like, from the ones I listened to Lord Asriel was made into a loon screaming in a mad "It's aliiive!" sort of way during his experiment on the Aurora. They did keep close to the books and the actors were very good for the most part.

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I've got the radio adaptations on CD, packaged with an excellent interview with Pullman.

 

I'm glad I chose to listen to it this way, as when originally broadcast on Radio 4 they did each book all in one go. 2½ hours of radio at a time on a Saturday afternoon - who's got time for that? Much as I adore Radio 4, they do occasionally make some very strange scheduling decisions.

 

As for the dramatisation, they are by and large faithful to the books, at least as I recall them. It was a smart move to use the angels from the third book as narrators for the whole thing, as this device was really helpful. Generally fine casting too, Lyra especially. Terence Stamp is Asriel, plus there are cameos by a few other well known actors, but I hadn't heard of most of the cast.

 

I think Pullman's books are the finest so-called children's books I've read since I got to the age where society started classing me as an adult. They certainly have some more profound things to say than a lot of the "adult" books around - and I don't mean top-shelf stuff ;)

 

Has anyone seen the theatrical versions at the National? I tried to get tickets this year but they are like gold dust (no, not that sort of Dust).

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I really want to see the theatre play. A boy from my forum is going with his school during the next run. In my school the best I got was a trip to the cinema up the road. :rolleyes:

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I thought these books were fantastic and read them for the second time just recently. I think that they are appropriate for adults and teens as you can take as much from them as you want to or are ready for. I particularly liked the message behind the exit from the land of the dead in book three, although I preferred the other two books overall.

 

I had no trouble picturing all the fantastic places and characters that Pullman describes as he writes so well and felt transported there. It is these vivid images that makes me reluctant to see it at the theatre as it might conflict to strongly with what I imagine, although I do know someone who has seen the plays and said they were amazing.

 

Regarding the name of the monkey, if the author doesn't give a character a name, it is usually for a reason (often to give the character more power) so it is a shame that the golden monkey was given a name in the radio play.

 

Definately for any age, most certainly fantasy and recommended to everyone!

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